It all started in our garage with a mission… Get Salem Healthy!
So here is the story of how CFS started, and flourished.
In late 2007 Carol was introduced to CrossFit from a coworker at the fitness club where she worked in Monmouth, OR. She told Andy about it and he tried some of the workouts in the small gym where he worked as an engineer in Tualatin, OR. He was not hooked immediately (it was just very hard work!), there was very few CrossFit boxes in Oregon and none in close driving distance. So over the next few months and into 2008 Andy did some of the online WODs from crossfit.com with the limited gear available. Pull ups were all strict on the square upper tube of a smith machine. Weights were always dumbbells, that is all they had. His friend Eli helped form the teamwork aspect that makes these workouts bearable. They would leave post it notes on the wall of the gym as they did WODs, sometimes improvising heavily.
We had to work outside a lot! (Cole, Josh, Jim)
Waiters walks in the driveway with Amy!
Driveway WOD with Kira, Josh, Cole and Connie! Early 2009
After about 9 months Andy decided on a whim to fly to San Diego and get certified as a level 1 Crossfit trainer in August 2008. The idea was just to get information so he could coach himself. There he met some awesome people and was approached by the affiliate director about opening up an affiliate in Salem, as there was nothing within and hour in any direction. On the trip back home Andy had decided to do it, with Carols consent the garage was partially converted into a box and CFS had a grand opening on December 1st 2008 (with maybe 3 people there). At that time there was about 200 square feet of mats in a one car garage… with two bars, some metal plates, one squat rack. We replaced a rower in WODs with a punching bag, every hit was a meter. The first paying client was Todd M. (we can still remember getting the first check and thinking “why would anyone pay us for this”?). The 400m track was around the block, and only 2-3 people could lift at the same time. Every Saturday there was free WOD’s at Bush Park, this continued for over a year and still continues in our box today! Serving the community and giving bad is fundamental priority at CFS.
By mid 2009 it was apparent that CFS needed a bigger space, the 500 square foot garage was maxed out with about 30 paying clients and typically 3 classes a day at 6a, noon, and 6p. Josh R. helped out a lot by teaching the noon classes while Andy and Carol worked day jobs. Andy made a motorcycle road trip to judge at the CrossFit Games at the ranch in 2009… that was a surreal experience he will never forget. So, in Sept. 2009 CFS moved into a giant 4,000 square foot warehouse in central Salem. It seemed massive compared to the garage! Carol quit her job, got certified as a L1 trainer, and taught the majority of the classes while Andy commuted to Tualatin every day and taught evening classes.
New box 2009/10… homemade pull up rig!
The box grew organically and with the growth of CrossFit, slowly but surely that warehouse filled up too. In Jan 2011, Andy took over classes full time and Caleb Lee Bolliger was born, it was an amazing month! Over the next two years CFS established itself as an excellent place for people to get fit and as a competitive CrossFit box with four consecutive trips to the CrossFit Games Regionals as a team in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The first CrossFit Regionals in 2010, CFS had a team
In Jan. 2013 CFS moved into an old Golds Gym location complete with locker rooms, kids fitness facility, massage therapy room, lobby proshop, and babysitting space. This next chapter for CFS will have unknown challenges and rewards! All we can say is that growing every single month for over 4 years is a good sign! We have tried very hard to provide a positive business that conducts itself ethically and gives back to the community in many ways every year. We started out in 2008 with a mission statement and still follow that today. “Get Salem healthy”… that was it, and its working!
The West Salem location opened in October 2013 as another solid fitness option for the people over the bridge! This location uses the same daily workouts and trainers, just different walls. In 2014 the West Salem location has grown dramatically and will probably need to more to a bigger space in late 2014 or early 2015.
2014 has also brought the addition of NW Fit Games to our business family! This new fitness competition company merges the CrossFit sport aspect with the personal accomplishment of competition. Every couple months we organize a fitness event in the NW and are bridging out to other cities as well. As the communities desire for rewarding functional fitness grows so will our services.
Lastly, community service and supporting local causes is very important to CFS. Every year we host multiple fundraisers and community events to help local families and national organizations that make life better for people in America!
Feb 27: 2014 Games Open starts
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“Today is my one year since I started Crossfit at Crossfit Salem. I am so glad I found the place. I have made many great friends, had new experiences. I cannot speak enough how much it has changed me. I feel so much better because of Crossfit. Thank You Andy and Carol for providing such a fantastic place to go. Thank Yo…u to the rest of my Crossfit crew for helping me through this first year!”
“…When I joined CrossFit Salem in August 09, I quickly discovered that I had not been pushing myself anywhere near my limits. I’ve lost two pant sizes. I can open my own jars and carry my own 40lb bags of dog food with ease.”
“…I joined CrossFit Salem three months ago in an effort to maintain my level of fitness. I have far exceeded my own expectations!”
“I couldn’t believe the drastic changes in just a few weeks. I have learned so much and after several years of boring and unmotivating workouts- I am excited to train again. For that, I can never thank you guys enough!”
“For me the changes that I have made through Crossfit have been huge. I have never been an athlete and never done much more than walk on a treadmill. Sometimes in a middle of a workout, when I am doing things (or let’s say attempting to do… things) I never in a million years thought I would do, I just think how anyone who really knows ME would be shocked! Thanks Andy, Carol and the Salem Crossfit community. I would have quit a long time ago had it not been for your encouragement and support. I r…
“I’m not as sore as I thought I’d be…just “good” sore! I can still get out of my desk chair without help…that is a good sign!”
Wear athletic shoes and apparel. Arrive 10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the other participants, start stretching (as best you know how). There is a basic warm up written on the white board... just start doing that and class will start at about 5 after.
Thanks for reading and we can't wait to see you at CrossFit Salem getting in the best shape of your life in a fun supportive environment!
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